Armenian Girls Often Purchased Their Lives by Going into Turkish Harems
Tiflis, Armenia, Sept. 15, via Paris Oct. 28 – Turkish Armenian refugees whose daughters were saved from death for a life of slavery in Turkish harems, have appealed to the American Red Cross for aid in obtaining their freedom. It is estimated by officials of the Armenian government that 30,000 girls are thus held in slavery. An executive committee to arrange plans for their liberation has been named and will start work at once.
These girls, daughters of refugees from the Van and Bitlis regions, disappeared during the massacres of 1918. Nothing was heard of them for months and it was believed they had been slain by the Turks.
Recently pitiful appeals for liberation have been coming from them from the Turkish harems of Anatolia and European Turkey. Most of the girls declare that they have not changed their religion.
Colonel Haskell, high commissioner of the allies Armenia, has been appealed to for military aid. No definite answer has yet been given but he is hopeful for being able to offer a show of force as a background for diplomatic negotiations. The American Red Cross has been asked for financial backing necessary for the work of liberating the women.